Diddy. Who doesn't know this guy? Founder of Bad Boy, discoverer of The Notorious B.I.G (the late great Biggie Smalls in my world), pusher of Ciroc (a fine beverage in my world), and the list goes on and on. Oh, and there's Dirty Money, the broads behind him, but are something that he is not - an artist. After years of "hard" work, Diddy-Dirty Money drops an album that anybody unfamiliar to Diddy and his conniving ways of music, Last Train To Paris.
Last Train To Paris is a product of "Last Night," which would've worked - if it came out after the hit single... in 2006/7. If this would've succeeded Press Play as scheduled, there would be reviews of this record being A+! Hell, if this came out in 2008 (or at least when his MTV "band" show was over), things would've made sense. Could Diddy's PR and label hiccups ruin everyone's trip on the Last Train To Paris?
The intro was pretty good, especially considering Diddy's aim for a new sound. He is right in the sense that this is something new, as the production for Last Train seemed to pour a righteous effort in making a futuristic, techno, electronic, hip-hop and R&B record.
Fortunately, the moniker Diddy-Dirty Money saves Diddy's behind from this being a total disaster. These women can blow! The main "backup (???)" singer that makes up Dirty Money, and member of Danity Kane, Dawn displays a powerful vocal, outdoing Diddy and "that other girl" Kaleena. Honestly, if these women went solo, the R&B community would not mind one bit*
*as long as they have the creativity to match their powerful vocalism.
Diddy, Diddy, Diddy. Folks were sick of/laughed at his ad-libs and whack raps, now they have something else to poke fun at: his singing. Like, excuse my French, but HOW DO YOU FUCK UP AUTO-TUNE??? Moving on...
The biggest conceptual fail of Last Train To Paris is that it sounds dated (i.e. when it was supposed to be out). For example, look at "Loving You No More." Well, in the words of Diddy - "I just, I can't...", so nevermind. Seriously, the single is a direct production-type inspiration of Ne-Yo's "So Sick" and "Because of You." Also, "Hate You Now" and "Strobe Lights" are among the many records that had a 07-08 vibe to it, considering the massive amount of artists who weren't as big as Diddy but had that sound he tried to master in Last Train To Paris.
"Shades" falls guilty, though the production and concept is bananas, but because the lyrics just screwed it up. It sounds like a throw away from Jamie Foxx's Intuition album. "Last Night Part 2" just because there is a part 2 to that record, which seals the deal for me as I could've been ok without that sort of Last ride to Paris.
The good news about this album is that Diddy-Dirty Money stuck to what worked for them when they released "Love Come Down" (which I was hurt was not on the album) and "Hello Good Morning," as their ticket to the Last Train was creative club records. Additionally, their club record orientation isn't just Black-folk-booty-shaking-music, it's pop-ish, electro-ish, and fun.
Overall, Diddy-Dirty Money got away on their Last Train To Paris because it was catchy, nice for just about any clubs, and the girls did all the dirty work. Unfortunately, the monstrous "Last Night" gem has been stretched thin and ultimately destroyed thanks to Diddy's aim to banking off of it, as well as all of the good music to come out of 2006-08.
Star's Grade: C+